HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT)– We stand in Big Spring Park, underneath the shadow of the City of Huntsville municipal building.
This is the spot where two women plan to get married Monday morning. They will be the first couple taking part in Wedding Week to have a ceremony.
Ellin Jimmerson, a Baptist minister, plans to officiate.
Advocates do not anticipate much push-back in Madison County after Alabama’s top judge ordered probates to ignore the federal order that makes same-sex marriages in the state, possible.
Pending any serious changes, Jimmerson is ready for the task.
“I have this striped stoll, a rainbow-striped stoll that I bought on the beach in the Dominican Republic,” she said, indicating where the stoll would go around her neck and fall toward the ground. “I have saved it, and bought it for this occasion.”
Jimmerson works at Weatherly Heights Baptist Church. She’s so excited to have the opportunity to take part in this kind of history in Alabama.
“I feel so honored [to be asked to do this],” she says. “I feel like I’m on the right side of history.”
We asked her how she feels about others’ religious conflict with the idea of same-sex marriage.
She didn’t hesitate to respond, “This is part of my calling. It is part of my faith journey. As a Christian, I believe that God is love.”
She believes most people would not want to obey certain Biblical descriptions of marriage, especially the part about having multiple concubines.
“We are moving more toward the love side of things,” she said.
Jimmerson says her parents were activists in the Civil Rights Movement. Those memories also guide her in making the choice to officiate on Monday.
“I just saw firsthand what fear and hatred does to otherwise very decent people,” she said.
So, following her family’s example and her own moral compass, Jimmerson will serve as a critical part of this movement for civil rights.
“And of course I’ll have some of the basic pastoral concerns,” she said. “You know. I hope they make it. I hope things go well for them. I hope they have a long life together.”
Jimmerson will give a homily before the ceremony. She says she’s not nervous about that. She’s really just excited for the day and what it means for Alabama.